Way of the Baby Ninja!

Babies strike at your organs before you even know they exist. Therefore babies are ninjas! In fact they suddenly appear in your home, drain your blood for nine months, then spend decades emptying your bank accounts while being much better at new technologies than you. That’s regular ninja, anime series ninja and cyberpunk hackerninja all in one. The three thing-throwing* fates, a shadowy trinity of ninjae past present and future, and they’re all instinctively programmed to target you. You must learn their ways!

*Ninja normally throw shuriken but if your baby’s hurling those you have more fundamental parenting problems

The first step in dealing with baby ninja is understanding the difference between fantasy and reality. In fantasies they’re almost magical beings who suddenly appear and change lives. Specifically they change lives to be “over”, ninjas in the physical sense, babies in a more metaphorical “old way of life” but still utterly absolute sense. But in reality they’re deeply mercenary beings who often make a mess.

In reality more babies than ninja have worn tightly wrapped black clothes. Because most ninja were spies, which meant dressing as civilians instead of wearing shadow pyjamas. Ninja were more likely to pretend to be farmers cowering at the edges of a battle then reporting to their master that the northern armies had just obliterated each other if he fancied grabbing a new palace in that direction.

Babies are the same: fooling you into letting your guard down while gathering intel, learning where you keep your most valuable items, then striking the second you’re distracted. Pretending to be powerless is how you defeat someone ten times larger than you. Especially when you strike weak points like throats or genitals. (NOTE: babies strike at genitals harder than anything else in existence, but only when you’re giving birth to them. If you haven’t given birth to them you just don’t understand it. No, you don’t, shut up dudes, even the most Summerslamtastic of Infant Elbows to the balls is nothing compared to birth.)

Babies lull you into a false sense of security, wait until you’re already hassled and distracted, then when you’re trying to put them in the buggy HIYA! They strike with Starfish Pose! Four Limbs, Four Compass Points, Immovable Style! And you can’t rely on only superior strength to defeat baby ninja. That’s rule one of both “fighting ninja” and “not getting arrested for being the world’s worst parent”. Instead we must be like the martial arts hero and learn from our opponents’ techniques. Just as people can learn the ways of darkness to become Shadow Ninja, or the ways of anime combustion to become Fire Ninja, you must study the tricks of the tiny to become a Baby Ninja!

The first rule of (baby) ninja is giving your target your full attention. This’ll honestly solve 90% of the problems you’ll ever have and prevent 99% more. The second rule is never underestimating anyone. We’re told that babies are the future and will exceed us, and like fools we ignore this warning! This isn’t an eventual hope, it’s an urgent alert! They’ve already started! Don’t let your guard down unless you want to find it chewed in half and covered in marmalade! Babies will find ways to inflict injuries you’ve never dreamed of, and the fact they’ll inflict them on themselves only makes them more psychologically powerful.

A powerful example of proper Baby Ninja technique is Ninja Nose Cleaning. Too often you’ll see distracted parents with phones in one hand, tissues in the other, half-heartedly poking at a nose-fountain only to smear it across an entire face like they’re applying the world’s worst facemask. Half-hearted nose cleaning is like a half-hearted Aztec sacrifice: now there’s an awful mess, everyone’s screaming, and it didn’t even work. Babies treasure snot like Warhammer Orks value teef: hoarding an awful wealth which no-one else even wants except to get rid of. There are churches worshipping what they claim is Christ’s blood which won’t react as violently if you try to take their bodily fluids.

The Baby Ninja must approach their snotty child as prey. Your goals are incompatible. You cannot calmly explain that you want to wipe their nose, or gently wave a warning tissue across their bows, for this will sacrifice the advantage of surprise. You can’t start this casually and hope things will work out, because it won’t, and now their guard is up along with their volume and fluid output. You must remember that the peace-seeking parent-ninja only does this for the good of everyone, so even secret blows are moral. You must achieve this mission to prevent a stain on your honour, in this case is represented by your sofa. Approach your target as a ninja: silently, take a firm grip, and a strong strong horizontal motion to prevent them from making noise until it’s too late. Tidy as necessary.

Meditate on this example and learn your own ways of the Baby Ninja. Understand the truth that the parent and the ninja have much in common. Like the idea of perfect skills making things easy being a total fantasy invented by people who’ve never done it and are trying to make money from fiction. Both parents and ninja are just people working much harder than normal, trying to get through the days by finishing their jobs, and often making a mess of it, then having to deal with the consequences. Also both work for unquestionable hierarchical masters who had to be served and protected at any cost.

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